The military is the most widely respected institution in the U.S. these days. Little wonder, given all that we ask of them and how they perform their duties honorably and reliably.
But sometimes we expect too much, such as in the case of Matt Golsteyn. He was the Army major, you may recall, who applied for a job with the CIA, and in the process, made full disclosure of his activities while in the military. Anything less than full disclosure would have been grounds for rejection. But in his case, full disclosure led to trouble.
According to Washingtontimes.com, he admitted killing an unarmed individual in Afghanistan. See Green Beret tells of shooting Taliban in CIA job interview, loses Silver Star for it. To wit:
A Green Beret who was awarded the Silver Star, then saw it stripped away because he killed a Taliban bombmaker, is telling why he did it, as conveyed in a CIA job interview he conducted nearly four years ago.
Maj. Matt Golsteyn said the insurgent was a known maker of improvised explosive devices and was in the presence of such components. He considered him an armed combatant, so he shot him. ...
Here's more detail:
Maj. Golsteyn, who led a joint force of Marines, Special Forces soldiers and Afghans, said the bombmaker had been detained but then released because he had no explosives or components in his possession.
Later, the Green Beret came across the man at a compound devoted to IED-making and shot him. He believed he followed the rules of engagement since, in his mind, a Taliban with components for IEDs — the top killer of Americans in Afghanistan — is just as armed and dangerous as if he were carrying a rifle.
Maj. Golsteyn told the CIA interviewer: “So I’ve got a guy in the battlefield that I know is already responsible for the deaths of two, the making of countless IEDs, and whatever he’s committed before, he’s an open threat to the tribal leader in a very fragile process for us of getting some kind of popular support that allows us to get done what we want to get done. And he is a demonstrated threat to my guys. He’s — is a combatant, was a combatant when we picked him up and was going to continue to be a combatant. We were fighting. We were under attack at that point in time for six to eight hours a day.”
Golsteyn lost his medal and got an honorable discharge. Search engine results today tell me nothing further happened in the case. Seems like a compromise with some no doubt wanting to throw the book at him. But what do you do? We expect our people to annihilate the enemy in a gentlemanly manner. That's an impossible demand when they're dealing with an enemy who slips in and out of the civilian population while looking for our weaknesses. BTW, he's bullet proof while he's unarmed.
Little wonder our military maintains such high regard among the citizenry.
4:16 PM 2/10/2017